As much as Mets fans were hoping it would be Luis Castillo and/or Oliver Perez, the Mets instead designated Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi for assignment. Igarashi, who came over from the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, had a brutal rookie campaign for the Mets in 2010. The righty reliever posted a dismal 7.12 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and a 5.3 BB/9 IP in 30.3 ineffective innings.
Former Mets General Manager Omar Minaya signed Igarashi to a two-year, $3 million before the 2010 season, hoping that the 31 year-old Japanese pitcher would be able to translate his success from the Japan to the states. However, not only was Igarashi hittable, but he almost walked as many batters as he struck out. Igarashi did have a successful 24 innings in the minors
(3.00 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9 IP, and 10.1 K/9 IP), but once reinstated in the majors, he was still never able to find any command.
The Mets will be on the hook for $1.5 million if another team takes a chance on Igarashi, but it’s more likely he’ll return to the Mets, and be placed in Triple-A.